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Nurses to press gov't for housing benefits
2013-10-13 11:52:50 | (0 Comments)
Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer
File - Anthonette Patterson-Bartley, president of the NAJ
The island's nurses are to press government to provide to provide them with housing benefits in light of the large numbers of them who are living without a home.
A resolution was passed at the just concluded 67th annual general meeting and 43rd island conference of the Nurses' Association of Jamaica (NAJ) in Runaway Bay, St Ann for the nursing group to seek assistance from the government to secure housing solutions for the membership.
“It is the view of general membership that government has the responsibility to assist the nurses in securing housing solutions,” Anthonette Patterson-Bartley told The Gleaner, prior to her being installed for another term as president Saturday evening.
“The general membership asserted that housing is a basic commodity for all nurses. As a result of that a resolution was passed by the general membership to be sent to the ministry of finance and the ministry of health seeking assistance in providing housing solutions for nurses,” she added.
Nurses have been clamouring for housing assistance for over a decade.
In October 2003, the then newly installed NAJ president, Valda Lawrence-Campbell, raised the topic. She noted, then, that the 2003-2006 wage proposal for nurses that went before the Permanent Salaries Review Board (PSRB) included a request for improved access to housing for nurses.
"What you find is that nurses have worked long and hard for years and have not even been able to achieve a house through the National Housing Trust," Lawrence-Campbell told The Gleaner in a report published on October 11, 2003.
But On Saturday, almost 10 years to the day, Patterson-Bartley revealed that the NAJ has recognised still “that over 95 per cent of nurses live in rented apartment or family dwelling”.
Another issue which was a major concern for the nurses was the long delay to act on instructions to make salary deductions to financial institutions to honour various obligations.
“For more than six months there have been reports from general membership that when deductions are made from salaries, these deductions are paid over at a later date, as a result of that it incurs a lot of interest,” Patterson-Bartley explained.
“The general membership felt that this is unfair so the general membership has asked that the NAJ utilises its services of our attorney to communicate with the Ministry of Health and the regional health authority to ensure that deductions that are taken from nurses’ salaries are paid over on time to financial institutions.”
The president said where interests are incurred as a result of late payments on the part of the regional health authority, the NAJ will seek to have the authority absorb those costs.
The newly elected executive to serve for the 2013/2014 year includes the following:
President - Anthonette Patterson-Bartley; first vice president - Sharon Brown-Brotherton; second vice president- Marilyn Morrison-Small; third vice president - Julian Mason-Cleary.
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Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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